The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Chickpea Pesto Pasta

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Level: Easy

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Description

A quick, hearty lunch or easy weeknight dinner, this creamy, punchy, healthy pesto pasta makes a great vegetarian meal or pasta salad to bring to a summer cookout.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Rotini, Penne, Farfalle Or Other Short Pasta
  • ¼ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
  • ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 cup (heaping) Grape Or Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 1/2 Oz. Size) Chickpeas, Drained And Rinsed
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • ⅓ cups Jarred Pesto
  • ⅓ cups Parmesan Cheese, Plus More For Serving
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Preparation

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain. Return the pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for about 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant, then add the tomatoes and cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium, add the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes, then mash half of them with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Give everything another stir, then stir in the red wine vinegar and the pesto. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Add the chickpea pesto mixture to the pot with with pasta, along with 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid and turn the heat on to medium. Gradually add the Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed (I usually end up using the whole 2 cups), until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is creamy and emulsified, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter until it melts. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Serve in bowls, topped with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.

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